Learning in Virtual Classrooms while protecting the Vulnerable

Describing the Issue : Children are NOT LEARNING at home. The notion that they are is a fallacy. They are repeating and revising already gained knowledge and not learning anything new. I cannot believe the lack of commitment, effort and innovation to overcome this issue within Education, Local Authorities or SG. It is completely unfair to ask parents to 'home school' their children. They dont have the skills or ability. Teachers post / email 'something' to do at home each day but what are they doing for the rest of the day? Last week our local secondary school teachers posted a You Tube video for their pupils to watch at home of them dancing around in their gardens having made up A4 sheets containing "positive messages". Each of the messages must have taken all of 5 minutes to make. Every one of the teachers was dancing around in the video in their Gardens in the sun wearing sunglasses. ONE WAS EVEN SUNBATHING ON A SUN LOUNGER IN HER GARDEN! Worse still - It was aimed at secondary pupils!! How is this helping to educate our children and how on earth do you think parents felt watching this, while they try to educate their own children AND work from home???? It was shocking to watch. What else did the teachers do for the rest of the day? And to make it worse they all self congratulated each other on it thinking it was marvellous. In what way were any if the secondary pupils actually educated in this self promoting social media nonsense? Why has education not shown the same flexibility as other working environments to deliver the same levels of service whilst adjusting to the lockdown. What they are delivering just now is nil in terms of education. In my workplace we have had to adapt to Covid 19 whilst maintaining consistently high levels of service delivery in a high risk operating environment. We now conduct all meetings online, meeting cycles have become more frequent, to ensure better governance. We have increased capacity across our ICT infrastructure and within a matter of weeks, we are operating to the same standards now as we were before lockdown. Only in a completely different way. One that we have had to redesign, at pace, by innovating and finding different ways to work. Education, teachers on the other hand seem to me to have just sat at home sending an email per day. I find it shocking. They claim in their defence that there is "nothing we can do". Yes there is!!!! Over and above this, the visibility of more vulnerable children by education professionals has all but evaporated. THE SOLUTION - increase capacity and create live online Virtual Classrooms 1. Increase school capacity - schools operate 7 days per week. A morning and afternoon session would create 14 school sessions per week. 2. Teachers begin to work a shift system over 7 days. 3. Teachers attend school, as normal. In their own classes they are socially distanced from other teachers. 4. Children who have ICT and Internet at home stay at home. 5. Teachers use an online platform (MSTeams Video conferencing) to deliver live online classes. The children at home actually start learning at home. Taught by their teacher. Not their parent. Not suggesting this is for 6 hours a day but maybe 2 hrs per day. 6. For children who dont have ICT - 2 options : i) buy them tablets and provide either free wi fi at home or a 4G sim card. These children then learn in the same way as children at point 5. This would cost a fraction of the budget spend already committed to Covid. OR ii) get the children who dont have ICT at home to attend school. Typically, the children described at point 6 will most likely be the more vulnerable children (CP concerns existing). By implementing 6ii) this bring 3 benefits: a) By having them in class the teacher / education professional has more contact and can ID child protection concerns far more quickly. b) these children can be provided hot meals in school c) the more vulnerable children get access to education (many will not be receiving any the way things stand at present) The vast majority of children have ICT and would continue to learn at home but in my suggestion, FROM TEACHERS. With the smaller number of children physically attending school, social distancing in classrooms could be easily achieved. Teachers coukd easily socially distance in the schools. Vulnerable children can either learn at home (with ICT provided) OR In school. Indeed a hybrid of 6i) and 6ii) could be used to ensure social distancing and prioritising the most vulnerable children to physically attend school. I cant believe this hasn't been done already and think it's a disgrace that the status quo from the first 3 weeks of lockdown has been allowed to continue while many other organisations have had the agility, foresight and innovation to adapt to "new normal" whereas education has just stood still. Its shocking. Teachers should be back teaching, not sending the odd email which they are doing just now and children need to get back to learning. They are learning nothing new at the moment.

Why the contribution is important

To get children back actually learning, not just repeating already acquired knowledge. To protecting the most vulnerable children in communities. To get teachers more gainfully employed - as opposed to sending a couple of emails a day and spending the rest of the day in the sun / garden.

by Lauders on May 05, 2020 at 02:38PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.1
Based on: 6 votes


  • Posted by Scribbleaddict May 06, 2020 at 08:41

    Teachers need training to deliver online learning. They also need I.T. support to set-up online classrooms. They need access to software that has been created to support the needs of a classroom environment. I work in administration support for an online college and I know first hand that being a good teacher does not mean you are good with technology. However, provide the average teacher with the support they need, monitor the content they provide, and excellent results can be achieved. The content they are currently providing needs to be monitored. Those who are struggling or not rising to the current challenge need guidance. If they continue to produce inferior content then their performance should be review by their head teacher. The beauty of videos is that they provide evidence of quality. Physical classrooms don't. The silver lining could be that we can finally identify the teachers who shouldn't be allowed to teach from the wonderful individuals who inspire our children.
  • Posted by Renitadee May 08, 2020 at 02:52

    I completely agree that the current approach to home schooling resources is not enough especially if this is going to be long term. At secondary school level, complex new concepts are being introduced in a few paragraphs making this difficult to understand as this would normally be taught over a full lesson or series of lessons. An online platform where teachers could upload recorded lessons would help greatly. This could be accompanied by discussion groups where pupils could interact, asking questions. Given our technological era, this should be something that can be created with a decent amount of ease. Other learning institutions such as universities who already provide this platform for lectures could assist with this. As a mother of 2 teenagers, we spend a great amount of time searching for third party learning resources to ensure the subject concept is understood. This leaves room for potentially teaching incorrectly.
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